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Thread: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

  1. #1
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    Frenchman's Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
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    Default A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    While my mini-faering is sleeping half done in the shed, I decided to start another build in my basement over the winter. My oldest nephew had just turned 3 and I felt he might like a Viking ship of his own, to be set up in the living room for play while he is little, then taking it to the cottage when he can swim completely on his own.

    The boat is basically a dory skiff with a solid white pine bottom and 4mm okoume planking.


    The rendering in FreeshipPlus 3.4 isn't great but gives an idea.


    All the strakes are cut from a single sheet of plywood, but because of the solid wood bottom it isn't strictly a one sheet boat. It is ~ 8' 4" (2.5m) long and the beam is ~3' 8" (1.12m). The depth measured from the top of the bottom is ~1' (30 cm).

    The lower 3 strakes are connected at the bow, and will be stitched and glued, the sheerstrake is completely separate and will be attached glued lap. The bottom and stems are just screwed to the planking and will be backed up by epoxy fillets. The design is probably overly complex for such a little boat but it allows me to test drive several different building techniques.



    The sheerstrake is scarfed lengthwise. The bottom strakes will be butt joined in the middle of the boat over a fairly beefy frame. Despite stapling the scarf joint with cardboard it didn't come out ultra-neat and needed a lot of sanding. The whole boat will be painted, so I'm not too concerned about the staple holes; they can be filled with epoxy later. The surfaces didn't mate 100% and the scarf joint ended up being a bit of a hard spot.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    The stems are cut from a single 3/4" (19mm) thick pine board. Yes there is cross grain, but because the strakes are connected already at the bow the stem doesn't need to hold the planking together but the planking and backing fillet will hold the stem together like a gusset. It is a kid boat, so I don't think I'd need a stem at all, but the stem horns will impart the "Viking look".





    The whole thing is coming together pretty nicely.



    The boat was light enough that I could lift it up onto sawhorses to get a side view.



    Note that priming and painting the walls of my basement workshop is on the backburner while I'm busy using it.

    When I developed the strake layout in FreeshipPlus, the bow and stern halves came out differently even though the linesplan shows the boat to be symmetrical. Instead of building a paper model to figure out which half was "more right" I cut them as the computer spit them. The "better half" worked better for the bow and the other half is now the stern, which is a bit lower. There is a line attached at the stern diagonally across to the frame. Similar to the "mini-faering" I am building in the shed, the boat has a bit of twist, but this eliminates it. I am hoping that the correct shape will be locked in once the seams are filleted and taped.

    And there it sits till the basement gets warm enough for my new epoxy (it needs 60 F, ~25 degrees C). I used up all my cold cure epoxy on the gluing the bottom and repairing a dog sled. Believe it or not, it is the end of April and I'm still using the sled.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    3,508

    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    It's interesting that you got 8' 4" out of an 8' sheet, especially considering that the sheer plank must be 8' 9" at the very least. I can imagine the layout on the full sheet, but would like to see a picture of it if you have one.

    I once built a double ended dory from one sheet, no scarfs, for my son, when he was perhaps 5 years old. It worked well for him despite the fact that it was so narrow, but when I got in it the COG was so high that I got a bit wet.

    Yours looks to be a much better design.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Central New Jersey
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    I see a new project in my future.
    Steamboat

    I get by with the judicious use of serendipity.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    Adorable!!

  6. #6
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    Feb 2017
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    Cambridge, NY USA
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    Fantastic! What a lucky boy.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    It's interesting that you got 8' 4" out of an 8' sheet, especially considering that the sheer plank must be 8' 9" at the very least. I can imagine the layout on the full sheet, but would like to see a picture of it if you have one.

    I once built a double ended dory from one sheet, no scarfs, for my son, when he was perhaps 5 years old. It worked well for him despite the fact that it was so narrow, but when I got in it the COG was so high that I got a bit wet.

    Yours looks to be a much better design.
    This was my approximate cutting layout. I say approximate because I did the sheerstrake differently; I didn't want the scarf joint to be in the middle so I made a short and a long piece. Freeship isn't very good about making straight ends of the plates unless you put a hard knuckle line in, but I just lofted the sheerstrake slightly differently on the actual plywood panel. The gridlines are 25cm.

    Turns out the 3-strake panel layout on the left agreed with the linesplan and the one on the right with the larger gaps at the ends of the strakes was a bit of a handful to wrestle into a shape that agreed with the front half of the boat. If I ever suspect software hickups in the future I will build a paper model first.

    I first split the panel lengthwise in the middle, then cut the pieces with the 2 halves clamped together and everything raised up high enough so the sawblade wouldn't hit the floor. The more gentle curves were cut with a circular saw with a strip of wood clamped in the curve as a guide. The tighter curves I cut with a sabresaw. I hate those because they vibrate so much and the cutting accuracy leaves something to be desired. The last bit of the "darts" between the strakes I cut with a hacksaw blade in a handle that grips the blade at just one end.

    I watched Stefan's (Flo-mo) videos about testing the baby boat and it was the same thing: plenty stable for kids but tippy for an adult and barely enough room to row.

    This boat managed to be longer than 8' because I measured to the outside of the stems, used 250cm plywood, and because of the overlapping nose ends of the strakes.

    If I had to build a little boat again (I might for my little niece, who is just 5 months old now), I would use a different design with only 3 strakes and the bottom also on the same sheet. This would be way simpler (and the panels for that design came out symmetrical) and it would be a true one-sheet boat.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    Brilliant!
    -Dave

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Athens, GA
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    41

    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    You're going to be the cool uncle for sure! Very nice build!

  10. #10
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    victoria, australia. (1 address now)
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    Next one he can help the build. Terrific idea......indoctrination at 3.........

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Vienna, Austria
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    437

    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    Thank you for sharing your project -- it is such a neat and clever design.
    You are the coolest aunt (uncle?) ever .

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